Surviving A Trend

Happy Friday ladies. Your insightful comments yesterday got me thinking about trends and current fashion. And in case I haven’t said it lately, you are the best and I thank you for sharing your wisdom here. Today I have some thoughts on how to survive an unflattering trend.

woman wearing off shoulder fashion trend

Trends are the general direction that fashion is going and usually last 3-8+ years. Some women are energized by change and love incorporating new looks, into their wardrobe. Other women love classics all the way and their look stays relatively the same year after year. Most women fall somewhere in between, including me because I believe a touch of trend helps keep us looking current.

A few comments from the community yesterday:

“I know ruffles are big this year, but I am tall so I feel they can make me look silly.”

“The cute little ruffled tops and dresses would suit a child, certainly not a mature woman.”

“I’m tall and feel silly in the ruffles that are so popular this year.”

“The current trend of “angel-wing” shoulder ruffles feels ridiculous on me.”

“If I wore something as a child or teenager, it’s not appropriate now.”

“The days of walking into stores and finding lots of choices are gone. Looking for clothes that look well on the older me takes more time. 😮 It means looking at the inventory with a different eye. ”

Vogue has just declared that the puff-sleeve trend is here to stay, and yet many of us are not embracing it. So how do we survive an unflattering trend that seems omnipresent?

  • Stay in your lane. It’s more than ok to sit a trend out.
  • Try different retailers…this is where online shopping shines.
  • Go through what you own and put things together in new combinations that feel fresh to you.
  • Take better care of what you already own.
  • Buy better quality in styles you love.
  • Avoid shopping.

Brands tend to give us more of what sells well and apparently that’s puff sleeves, ruffles, and shapeless tiers that could be worn by a 5-year-old right now. These styles are particularly unflattering for my silhouette and I feel goofy in them so I’ll be sitting these out for my wardrobe.

woman walking towards you on sidewalk with mirror sunglasses, white blazer and blue jeans

The other thing that came up yesterday was how our bodies have changed and the ways we allow that to limit what we’re comfortable wearing.

We’re aging, it’s a fact, and we’re lucky to be doing so. That doesn’t mean we’re crazy about our crepey skin, ropey veins, sagging knees, or wobbly upper arms but we must learn to love the body we have and dress it strategically. We also need to give ourselves permission to wear what we love, no matter what others think.

Trends are a bit like fast food. They’re easy to find, may feel good initially, but are ultimately never healthy for your wardrobe. I chose to tread lightly with trends and will continue to do so.

Just for a laugh, here are a few upcoming 90s trends I will be sitting out. Scrunchies, bike shorts, low-rise jeans, jelly sandals.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.




  1. I so agree “that a touch of trend helps keep us looking current” and admit being a classic dresser I am very selective when it comes to them. That being said and for an example; the other day while browsing YouTube I came across a very popular channel where the topic was ‘trending footwear’ (casual to dressy / flats to heels) and was amazed that the negative comments on them far out-weighed the positives, which IMHO signifies consumers on the most part know what they want and not necessarily what’s being marketed.

    1. Sorry, it should have read ‘and it is not necessarily what’s being marketed’. -Brenda-

  2. As a young girl my mother would get very frustrated with me because I disliked bows, ruffles and little prints. I once cut the bows off of a new pair of Easter shoes & I still remember my dad’s angry comment! I still don’t like frills; I accept I can’t wear cutesy outfits and it’s all good. I have to add that one trend I’m avoiding is eyelet. It seems I see women everywhere here in SoCal dressed in white eyelet. I picked up my 10 year old granddaughter for school today & she was in a white eyelet maxi dress. I thought she looked perfect! I’m sure many women can wear eyelet especially in colors but I’m over it!

  3. I usually stay away from fads, but sometimes I see a trend that could work for me. Ruffles and puffy sleeves are way too much for my petite figure. I like how you show us how to incorporate new things.

  4. Appreciate all the comments that allow us to dress our age. Few can pull off the “mutton dressed as lamb” look!

  5. People don’t pay as much attention to what you’re wearing as you think they do. I am reminded of the woman who wore the same shirt 264 times on Zoom meetings during Covid. No one noticed. Like it, wear it. Don’t like it, skip it. Dress for yourself, always.

    1. Well, I’m not so sure … I worked with a woman who tended to wear the same suit several times a week. One of the suits was purple. Everyone, including my male colleagues, noticed and remarked on it. I also had a male professor in college who wore the exact same thing every day. (In the winter, he added a vest.) Someone finally asked him: turned out he had about 15 denim shirts and multiple pairs of green twill pants. Maybe the zoom woman was doing the same?

  6. The off the shoulder top looks nice on women of a certain age because our shoulders stay pretty. The downfall is we can’t go braless (not a good look) and strapless bras are uncomfortable or slip. You look wonderful in your off the shoulder top but wonder if you didn’t wear it because of those reasons.
    I love to know the trends but tread carefully.

    1. Me too. I want to know them, but am cautious about which ones I will add to my wardrobe.

  7. Nicolette says:

    I’m with you on the ruffles and flutter sleeves. I have never liked ruffles or puffy sleeves on myself. I tried several flutter sleeved tops but did not like the look on myself. I am a lot like you choosing to wear a classic style.

  8. I feel like trends have a longer shelf life than fads. For instance the trend toward shorter cardigans and other sweaters is one I think may stick around awhile, and it suits my petite frame, so I’ll gladly add a few to my wardrobe. Ruffles and tiers I feel are more of a fad that won’t be around long. We’ll see!

  9. Puffed short sleeves, flutter sleeves, poet tops and tiered dresses don’t work for everyone. However, I have found some that work for me. I’m a full size smaller on top than on bottom. Because these trends seem so oversized, I’ve been able to size down and order in a tall length. Much better! The longer length in the tops, and losing the width of too much fabric does the trick. I found the same approach worked in a tiered midi dress. Longer was better and triple tiers suit me. Mine are all printed. The scale and color of the patterns matter. As always, looser tops work better with straight-leg pants.

    Adding a few of these items has given my wardrobe a lift that it needed. I plan to wear these pieces at home after the trends pass because they make me smile and they’re so comfortable.

    I’m with you on the scrunchies, bike shorts, low-rise jeans and jelly sandals.

    1. Mary Frances says:

      All this talk of avoiding trends…..how do you avoid boredom? Last winter I realized how tired I was of skinny jeans, and then I was delighted to learn they were on the way out. I struggle with the “slow fashion” concept as I love something new and different (that doesn’t include the return of previously worn trends). But I too have to pass on the puffed sleeves.

    2. If they make you happy, you should wear them with joy

  10. Jelly sandles 🤷‍♀️, I passed on them on the ’90s and its a hard pass now.

  11. I too passed on the ruffled shirt tank. I did wonder if I put a linen sweater or shirt over it if it would be a useful tank. It would float away from body be cool and flattering. patval

  12. Love this post. So timely after yesterday’s thoughts.
    As I said yesterday, you inspire me to “shop my closet” more frequently. Not that I don’t use your posts to shop for clothes. It’s just that when I do shop, I use your recommendations and try to invest in styles that suit my age and body, suit my lifestyle, and will last several seasons. Bonus: skipping the really trendy throwaway fashion is better for the environment! So every time I decide not to buy something this summer (I mean really? Jelly sandals again?), I will remind myself I am not contributing to the demise of the planet.

  13. Mary Divine says:

    I kind of like the puffed sleeves because I have very narrow shoulders and it kind of balances me out. I am a 34 DD so I need some balance to my body. The puffed sleeves have to be right on my shoulders . As for other trends like the cold shoulder tops. I never liked those tops. I don’t like ruffles or low rise, I prefer a high rise slim leg jean and pants. Those body con dresses are a big no for me. I like fit and flare and sheath dresses that follow the Ines of my 5″2′ 125 body. I also like skirts and skirts.

    I thought you looked very pretty with the off the shoulder top. I really like most of your posts . You give a real picture of the clothing in the stores although you are good shape so that gives some us inspiration to get in shape. I like classic but modern clothing. Talbots is one the place I like.

  14. I work part-time at a popular women’s clothing store that caters to mature women. The majority of girls/women 30 and under who come to the store leave empty-handed within minutes while women over 60 struggle to find items they like that fit their body, skin and age. The shop has found that ruffles and flutter sleeves are not selling well this summer. Customers are disappointed that we have so few of the elbow length tees and 3/4 sleeves because flab and dryer skin are issues. All that being said, we do get some women of all sizes who are more likely to embrace trends regardless of age, weight and skin condition. To each her own! Personally, I agree with commenters who state they are under no illusion about aging in regard to how they dress. Hoping that as the baby boomer numbers increase fashion will adjust with attractive and appropriate clothing.

    1. My “favorite” trend is the “half tuck”. I have spent 25 years as a mental health counselor. Not a day went by where I did not say to a client, “ please, tuck in your shirt, or wear it outside your pants”. I personally think it is the silliest trend to come along in decades…but I always have a good laugh when I see it.

    2. Thanks for sharing your observations Carolina. Our demographic is so often overlooked by fashion brands it disappoints me.

  15. You’re completely right! I’m turning 69 this month and some trends look just downright silly on me. I, too, like classic with a little trendy tweak to keep things current. Thanks for all you do!

  16. I love classics, but sometimes I get bored with the same old, same old. I do own a small ruffle top , one puffy sleeve poet blouse, and long dress with slight puffy sleeves. I think it is fun just to throw something fun in the mix. I will say I do not pay much for these trends. I have found these at Target and on sale at the Loft.

    Jennifer , I noticed the things you don’t like on you ,are the things that others say you look great in. Thanks for modeling all the trends.

    1. I have things in my wardrobe that are 30 years old and still current 🙂 It’s smart to dabble in trends at low price points. Target is great for that!

  17. I just had this conversation with my hairdresser yesterday. I summarized our talk by saying it’s what’s flattering that is most important. I am tall & slender with broad shoulders & know that the puffy & ruffle sleeves make me look like a linebacker. Wide leg pants/jeans are most flattering on me, not skinny pants or leggings. And when it’s no longer the latest trend but looks great on me, I’ll continue to wear it anyway! 🙂

    1. That’s so true! If a trend is ungrateful g we look like fashion victims trying to wear it.

  18. Wholeheartedly agree that it is OK to avoid the trends. I have items in my closet that are 15 years old and have stood the test of time with gentle care, I will add a soft version of some of the trends from time to time, but find I just don’t feel attracted to what my teenage grandaughters are deciding are fashion. That is a good thing, since I would have been mortified if my mother wore what I wore in my teens. I agree, there are parts of my body that just don’t need to be on display for the general public. Glad that sun hats are usually available in the same styles.

  19. You have beautiful shoulders and I love the bare-shoulder look on you.

  20. As a woman in her late 50’s every word in todays post resonated with me. When I find the selections too trendy for me, I go back to classic retailers but it’s still slim pickings. I see a lot of oversized choices. Another trend I don’t like on me.

    1. I’m finding oversized choices and puffy sleeves at many classic retailers too. That’s why I feel my sartorial options shrinking these days.

  21. Another great article Jennifer. I agree, I will only add a trend if I like it and it suits me.

  22. Have you ever noticed that many of the fashion “elite” usually do not wear trends. For example, Vogue fashion magazine editor, Anna Wintour, is almost always dressed in classics. I have noticed that many fashion designers also stick with classics. Trends are designed to keep women in the stores to spend money from season to season. I personally prefer a capsule wardrobe of classics that I can mix and match to create interesting outfits. Jennifer’s outfit above of a striped v-neck, dark jeans and blazer with just the right accessories is a perfect example of classic style. A look like this is always a good choice. If a trend does appeal to me, is flattering and works with my wardrobe, then I might include it, but not otherwise. My goal is to look stylish, not fashionable.

    1. “My goal is to look stylish, not fashionable”. Love it!

  23. Thanks Jennifer for a great post. I am over 80 and petite and finding clothes for my age is a challenge. I will keep looking for the right clothes. The other challenge for me is clothes that look so frumpy, I am young at heart and style is what I want. The best

    1. Bravo Audrey!! So glad you’re here with us.

  24. When I was in my early 50s, I had a dress that had puff sleeves. I decided that I was too old for puff sleeves so I got rid of it. I just turned 70 and I have several midi dresses with puff sleeves. I am petite and slender and I like the way I look in these feminine, boho dresses. Maybe my attitude has changed about what I can wear and I just wear what I like. However, I would never wear the cut-out trend, mini dresses, bikinis, tight clothing, or clothing that bares too much of my 70 year old skin.

    1. I love your point! Our style can and does change and we need to allow it to.

  25. Agree completely. I will not be wearing puff sleeves, ruffles, or shapeless tiers. I’ve finally learned to see “shiny objects” and realize I will look awful in them. As for the off-the-shoulder tops, I can’t go braless and I HATE strapless bras. So they haven’t been option for me since I was 16. 🤷‍♀️

    Your white blazer, striped top and jeans are classic and really lovely.

    1. I love that look and wear it often.

  26. Jennifer, there is so much good sense in your remarks today. I feel foolish wearing trendy clothes that mimic what the teenagers are wearing. So I avoid those trendy items. But I do like to stay current. I have found that shoes, accessories, and color help me feel up-to-date in my fashion choices. I usually pay attention to those details while sticking to my tried and true classic outfits. It seems to work for me. Thank you and enjoy your day!

    1. Great point Bea. Hair style and makeup also help keep us looking up to date.

  27. I am 65 and not at all concerned about what’s “in style.” I know who I am and what looks and feels right for me. Whew, what a relief!

    1. Maria Meylan says:

      How right you are!

    2. That is fabulous! I dabble in so many trends to share with you all, I get tempted where I shouldn’t.

  28. Terri…Ohio says:

    Well said. I won’t be joining in those trends either. Puffy sleeves, ruffles, and tiers don’t work for me either. Thank you, Jennifer.

  29. Suzanne Gabrielle says:

    Thank you for this post. I agree with you completely on the off the shoulder trend. I just never felt comfortable wearing it , but looks great on my daughters.

  30. One thing that getting older has taught me is to never say never. So there are many trends that I’m not actively looking to wear, but almost none that i will say never to.

    1. I try to say that too but sometimes I have to toss in the towel after I’ve given it the several attempts and puff sleeves did it for me this year. Perhaps I’ve just seen ways too many and feel overdosed on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *